Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Courage to Continue

"But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison." Genesis 39:21

This week, I posted a quote in class for my students to contemplate. As I read it, I also took the time to really think about the meaning of the quotation:

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal. Courage to continue is what counts."  -Winston Churchill

In order to encourage critical thinking, I asked my students what this quote meant to them. They each came up with very thoughtful and astute answers. 

I was moved.

The Lord Was With Joseph...

This week I have been reading about Joseph's story in Genesis because his story greatly influenced my story in The Dragon Forest 2.

In my story, Peter, the protagonist, is innocently thrown in prison just as Joseph was. How he reacts to his situation will reveal much to the reader just as Joseph's reaction reveals much to us.

So many times we are thrust into a "prison" innocently, and other times we are thrown into a prison of our own making.

Either way, the Lord remembers his own. The Lord is with us in that prison.

Courage to Continue

But the message I received from Joseph's story goes along with Churchill's quote: Joseph had the courage to continue.

Do we?

Often times we reach that goal we've worked for ....then stop growing, reaching, or dreaming. We stop improving. Why? Complacency, I guess. That comfort zone is awfully comfy!

And other times we hit an obstacle. And we FREEZE in panic. We stop. We convince ourselves that failure is fatal. There is no recovery, we say to ourselves, and so we give up.

But what we glean from Joseph's story is that even though he was innocently imprisoned, the Lord was with him and he found favor in the sight of the jailer. The Lord gave him favor...


That's the message we can take away from Joseph's story and so many other stories of people who weathered the storm only to find God there with them...and the clear blue skies that come after the storm.

I know, that's a lot of metaphors, but if it helps us visualize the contrast between sin and glory, then so be it!

I hope you are as encouraged as I am just by reading the words in Genesis 39:21. The Lord was with him!

And He is there with you too. 

Have the courage to continue on, no matter what.



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